The Manila port authority has allowed foreign cruise ships carrying Filipino seafarers to anchor in Manila Bay.
According to local sources, the authority said this move was agreed to repatriate nationals affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Returning overseas Filipino workers will still have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Subject to certain conditions, the Philippine government could allow some cruise ships to be used as quarantine areas for those remaining on board.
Two passenger/ro-ro ferries are being used as quarantine ships, ‘St Anthony de Padua’ for sick patients and the larger ‘St Pope John Paul II’ for tested patients.
As of Saturday, cruise ships anchored in Manila Bay included – ’Carnival Spirit’, ‘Majestic Princess’, ‘Pacific Dawn’, ‘Pacific Explorer’, ’Sapphire Princess’, ‘Sea Princess’ and ‘Sun Princess’.
‘Queen Elizabeth’ and ‘Voyager of the Seas’ have left Manila Bay, and are outside Philippine waters to the north west.
Heading for the area are ‘Artania’, ‘Carnival Panorama’, ‘Eurodam’, ‘Pacific Aria’, ‘Royal Princess’, ‘Ruby Princess’ and ‘Spectrum of the Seas’, all to drop off Filipino seafarers, the sources said.